Did you know digestive discomfort can derive from hormone disruptions? Exploring the types of hormonal imbalances can help you get to the bottom of bloating, gas and other uncomfortable issues.
What is a Hormonal Imbalance?
Your body's endocrine system produces hormones that help organs and systems communicate with one another and perform their functions.1 Anytime you have too much or not enough of one of these chemical messengers, you could experience a variety of unexpected symptoms. In addition, an imbalance in one type of hormone can affect the production of other hormones. Some of the most common types of hormone imbalances include:2
- Diabetes, which results from a lack of the hormone insulin
- Adrenal insufficiency such as Addison's disease, caused by lack of cortisol and/or aldosterone hormones
- Cushing's disease, resulting from overproduction of pituitary (growth) hormones
- Thyroid imbalances, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, caused by overproduction of androgens
Many internal and external factors can cause hormonal imbalances, including:
- Organ dysfunction, such as an underactive or overactive thyroid gland
- Exposure to toxins or other environmental disruptors
- Hormone therapy, including oral contraception
- Chronic stress
- Traumatic injury
- Eating disorder
- Benign or malignant tumors
- Certain medications
In addition, women experience hormone imbalances related to pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause.
Hormonal Effects On the Digestive System
Your digestive system contains neurotransmitters that send and accept messages to and from other parts of your body via hormones. An imbalance in these hormones can in turn affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. This often causes related symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and gas and bloating.
How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
In addition to digestive symptoms, hormonal imbalance can cause acne, joint pain, weakness, changes in your sex drive, hair loss, sleep changes, fatigue, and anxiety. Many people also experience sudden, unexplained weight gain or weight loss. You can try these natural steps to bring your hormones back into balance.
Incorporate Healthy Fats and Fermented Foods Into Your DietFermented foods foster good gut health by boosting the beneficial bacteria, preventing an overgrowth of "bad" bacteria leading to symptoms.3 Try adding yogurt, kefir or kimchi to your diet. Options include:
- Kefir, a cultured dairy beverage
- Tempeh, a popular meat substitute made from fermented soybeans
- Kombucha, a fizzy tea that comes in various flavors
- Miso, another form of fermented soybeans commonly found in Japanese cuisine
- Kimchi, a Korean vegetable side dish
- Yogurt made with probiotics
Healthy fats help alleviate inflammation that can irritate the gut as well as maintain robust levels of hormone production.4 In this category, you can upgrade your nutrition plan with:
- Fatty fish like salmon and tuna
- Hemp seeds, chia seeds, and ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil
- Canola oil and olive oil
- Peanut butter
Take High-Quality Probiotics
You can also increase the proportion of good bacteria in your gut microbiome by taking a probiotic supplement. While you'll find many options on the market, the Cleveland Clinic recommends choosing a trusted brand and a formula that includes at least 1 billion colony forming units of well-studied bacteria such as Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus. For best results, pair probiotics with plenty of fermentable fiber in your diet, including sources such as beans, onions, asparagus, garlic, wheat and leeks.5
Work Toward Better Sleep
Some studies suggest sleep has a significant impact on digestive tract health. As you rest, your body's systems, including your GI system, repair and refresh themselves. Lack of sleep can trigger an inflammatory immune response that leads to digestive symptoms.
To improve the quality of your sleep, stop using electronic devices at least an hour before bed. The blue light can block the release of melatonin, which signals to the body it's time to rest. Avoid working, relaxing or otherwise using your bed during the day. Create a cool, dark, restful environment and maintain a regular sleep schedule (including on the weekends if possible).
You can alleviate your body's reactions to stress with adaptogenic herbs, which have beneficial effects on a range of symptoms including GI discomfort.6 For example, burdock root supports the body's natural detoxification process, which removes bacteria and other substances that cause bloating, pain, gas and diarrhea. Another adaptogenic option, American ginseng root, reduces symptom-causing inflammation while boosting antioxidants that improve overall health.
Take Polisorb for Symptom Relief
Balancing your gut microbiome helps maintain optimal health. Polisorb provides relief for digestive symptoms without impacting your hormones and the Polisorb 5-Day Digestive Tract Cleanse is an easy, convenient way to reset your gut health and maintain it moving forward.
When used as a monthly digestive tract cleanse, Polisorb can help remove harmful bacteria, viruses and other toxins from your digestive tract before they begin to cause discomfort — supporting a healthy gut for your overall health and wellbeing.
Optimize Your Digestive Health Shop Polisorb 5-Day Digestive Tract Cleanse
These tips can help you tackle tummy troubles related to hormone imbalances. Talk to your doctor if changing your habits doesn't improve your symptoms. He or she can determine the underlying cause of the issues you're experiencing and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.